A bright start from Manchester City turned into a disaster for Manuel Pellegrini’s men as they were held to a draw by a Juventus side who more than played their part on the night.
All the talk in the build-up was of how City have turned on the heat at the start of the season and how their Champions League group was favourable, given the poor starts of their group-mates. City’s 100% start to the season, however, was lain to rest at the Etihad tonight as Juventus showed they are made of sterner stuff than they have appeared since the start of the season.
The big European nights have always been flat at the Etihad, and tonight always had a flat air to it yet again and in the biggest game of their group, City blew it.
They started brightly as Juventus looked nervy, but after a while, the Italians managed to get with the run of the game. Paul Pogba had a goal disallowed for offside – probably correctly, under the new laws – but that showed that Juventus were dangerous in attack.
City did manage to take the lead – an own goal from Giorgio Chiellini, netted under duress from captain Kompany – and given their start to the season the game had an air of inexorability about it. City looked as if they were going to sail to victory.
But then disaster struck. Paul Pogba’s sumptuous pass fell right onto Mario Mandzukic’s foot, and the Croatian scored a big big goal so early into his Juve career. Then Alvaro Morata curled a lovely finish around Joe Hart. City’s night had been turned completely on its head.
The introduction of Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero failed to have the desired impact and even on the rare occasions when City did manage to break down the Italian defence, they found Buffon in great form.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men have always started slowly in the Champions League, but with the home game against the biggest rivals for top spot ending in defeat, you fear for City’s European chances in a season when the Citizens thought they had the means to go all the way.
BREAKING: Sergio Aguero agrees to stay at Man City for life. pic.twitter.com/j966gUtCGN
— Not Match of the Day (@NOT_MOTD) September 15, 2015
— FootballFanCast.com (@FootballFanCast) September 15, 2015